Mr. Movie

'The Dilemma' proves to comic dilemma

What would you do if you caught your best friend’s spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend cheating?

Check one of the following. Confront them? Tell your friend? Ignore it? Run for cover?

Or you could make a two-hour comedy out of the dilemma and give it an original name like — how about — The Dilemma. That’s director Ron Howard’s choice. He puts comedian Vince Vaughn ( Wedding Crashers) in the hot seat as the best friend. An impossible-not-to-love Kevin James (TV’s The King of Queens) is the buddy.

-- Local show times, theaters, trailer.

Vaughn’s Ronny Valentine actually has two dilemmas. They’re working on a version of an electric motor for a muscle car, and he doesn’t want to distract James’ Nick from the job and a potential huge pay day.

Vaughn and James essentially play the same character in every project so there are no surprises there. Jennifer Connelly does eye candy as Vaughn’s girlfriend. The only meat in the movie comes from the spouse in question who is nicely done by a dangerously duplicitous Winona Ryder.

Howard’s film wanders a bit. Queen Latifah has a small, out of place part as the auto industry exec helping the two men get their project done. No doubt most of her scenes ended up on the cutting room floor because the dots between the two men and her character never quite get connected.

The film has other flaws, including the just a touch-over-the-top work of Channing Tatum as Ryder’s character’s boy toy.

What saves The Dilemma is Howard’s movie-making ability and his great comedic timing. If this type of TV sitcom comedy is your thing, you’ll enjoy it. My dilemma with The Dilemma is whether to recommend or not.

I can. But barely.

Mr. Movie rating: 3 1/2 stars

Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It opens Friday, Jan. 14 at the Carmike 12 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.